Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book News

In yesterday's post I promised another update. Long-time followers of my blog, which I began in 2007 (along with my website beginning in 1998), know that my frequency of posting has been gradually decreasing, and this year I found myself more behind than ever in everything. My hope is that I am learning to handle this reality of being chronically so behind in ways that are helpful.

Being behind means that I am always looking at various aspects of my life in order to prioritize, reduce, and also eliminate some things, even those things that are meaningful to me.

The biggest (and difficult) change that I am going to make in 2014 is to phase out the print copy of my book A Dietitian's Cancer Story, which I first published in 1997 and has been in print continuously since then. Nearly 100,000 copies have been sold (no small feat for a self-published book), with all copies having been managed by me, hauled in my mini-van, stored in my garage, shipped out by me to individuals, book warehouses, and bookstores around the country and world with the help of my friendly and supportive UPS, FedEx, and USPS drivers over the past 17 years. I have also done all the book-keeping on this book (there was a time when I had three employees to help me manage everything I was doing, too!), all the updates (I did a major update and re-write in 2010), and marketing (including speaking all over the country since 1997), arrange for and approve the editing, printing, cover art, etc, etc, etc.

Everything I have done has been an amazing adventure that I could not have predicted nor have given any credence to if someone had been able to see into the future back in 1995 and told me that this book would become my life while I was undergoing chemo the second time and so weak and ill that I could not feed myself. Nope, I would not even have had the energy to laugh at such a preposterous thought! :)

I am my own best case example when I have told people over the years that "cancer can take you places that are both unimaginable and wonderful". I also have told people to "never, never, never define your future by only looking at your past". Again, I am a perfect example of that picture. No one from my past, and I mean no one, would have ever picked me as 'future author'. My book found me (somehow I found the courage to say 'yes') and helped me grow immensely as a person.

I hope I have met some of my blog readers over the years and that I have been able to inspire you and others (cancer survivor or not) to take the leap of faith and both dig in and spread your wings as you move forward in life facing challenges known and unknown with a wildly beating heart. I have used the phrase "Active Hope" for years to describe what I have done by taking my poor odds into my own two hands to add maybe only a few percentage points to the outcome.

I am so completely busy with my farming now that I do not know if I'll get around to ultimately putting my book into an "e-book" format. I have not ruled that idea out, but it is not on the front burner at the moment.

In the meantime, A Dietitian's Cancer Story is still available from:

  • The American Institute for Cancer (AICR) where I have donated proceeds from the sale of my book (English and Spanish editions) since 1999. You may order on-line or by calling 1-800-843-8114. There are discounts available for orders of 10 books or more.   
  • (of course, both English and Spanish editions are available there, search by the book title or my name)
  • All bookstores may special order it for you, although I have stopped filling orders to their 'middle-man', so hurry if you want to order from your local independent bookstore
  • Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, MI has personally autographed copies that she will mail out to you or to anyone you specify as a gift. Just call the bookstore and Nicola's friendly staff will take your order over the phone. (734-662-0600)

If you have enjoyed reading my book in the past, please consider ordering a copy to donate to your local library or even your own cancer center's patient resource library. Proceeds will continue to be donated to AICR to fund research focused on identifying nutritional strategies to increase the odds for long-term survival and/or improve quality of life after cancer. I already know which project I am  funding in 2014, and I can't wait to tell you about it when I can officially spill the beans. It is my favorite project of all the great research I have funded since 2000. 

Although I will not stop blogging, I want to end this post with the same short quotation I used on my blog's first post back in June 2007. It is still one of my favorite quotes, precisely because it conjures up a blended sense of responsibility, caring, and wonder in my heart.

"No one could make a greater mistake than he who
did nothing because he could only do a little."

~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

If our paths cross in the future, please introduce yourself. I am inspired by my readers, the challenges you've gone through, your accomplishments, and what you are doing today to cultivate your life, to grow. While I am a full-time (plus) farmer now, I arrived there while traveling a cancer survivorship journey along with you. We have so much in common as fellow Earth travelers, and I enjoy feeling and thinking about that. :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013!

Winter has finally come to our south-eastern corner of Michigan, with a full snow cover today, covering up our garlic field with its white, fluffy, and warm winter blanket. The roots of our nearly 25,000 garlic cloves planted during October and November will keep growing, deep into our healthy soil, even during the winter giving us the best possible start to a great harvest during July of 2014.

Phoebe LOVES the snow and could stay outside forever. Here she is in our main garlic field where ~20,000 cloves are planted for this coming season (the overflow of ~5,000 unexpected cloves is planted back in the 2009 field). Her ears are blowing in the wind, and the snow is flying into her face and eyes as I captured this photo. What is far more fun for her is simply racing, racing, racing back and forth, up and down the paths, through the underbrush coming back with masses of burrs of all sizes and shapes, chasing a frisbee, following tracks and smells, dashing at the birds at the bird feeders, and on and on and on. Although not obvious in this 'still life' photo, her zest for life is a joy to watch and feel. :)

"Dog in winter garlic field" at The Dyer Family Organic Farm
I have just written and sent the final Garlic Friends Newsletter for 2013, which gives you more of an update on our farm plus our warmest wishes for the holidays and 2014. Feel free to sign up for our farm's newsletter at our farm's website ( It's easy, free, and of course your email address is never shared with anyone for any reason.

Tomorrow I will make another post here with some additional updates. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying the holiday season, choosing your gifts carefully, and spending as much as possible as locally as possible. :)

I want to end with a lovely quote that is new to me, seen in a newsletter from some friends' local company in the Ann Arbor area called Nature and Nurture Seeds:

As you hold loving thoughts toward every person and animal and even towards plants, stars, oceans, rivers, and hills (along with soil - I added this), 
and as you are helpful and of service to the world, so you will find yourself growing more happy each day.   

~~   Luther Burbank

I'm smiling as I type this, and I hope you are too after reading those wise and thoughtful words. :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD